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Intergenerational Income Mobility in Singapore

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  • Ng Irene

    (National University of Singapore)

Abstract

Research on intergenerational earnings mobility in less developed economies is lacking. This paper investigates the case of Singapore, a newly-industrialized economy in Asia. Interval regressions are employed because of grouped dependent variables. Instrumental variables address problems of respondent errors and unobserved permanent income. Still, the estimated intergenerational elasticity of between 0.23 and 0.28 is probably under-estimated because the study uses a survey of young respondents who reported contemporaneous incomes of parents. Transformation of the estimates using scales in recent comparative studies indicates that intergenerational earnings mobility in Singapore may be moderately low when compared internationally. Education as a means through which parents invest in their children's future earnings appears important. There are some small independent returns from schooling. Mobility does not appear to differ by ethnicity, sex or income. These findings have important implications for equity, development and policy in Singapore, which has rising income disparity, a maturing economy, and an educational system which is increasingly privately run.

Suggested Citation

  • Ng Irene, 2007. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Singapore," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-35, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:2:n:3
    DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.1713
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    1. Joel Smith, "undated". "Technical Working Paper: Creation of the September 2009 Baseline of the 2005 MATH SIPP+ Microsimulation Model and Database," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c2dd86c53a2b4f979e41ac610, Mathematica Policy Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo Mitnik & David Grusky, 2018. "The Intergenerational Elasticity of What? The Case for Redefining the Workhorse Measure of Economic Mobility," Working Papers 2018-043, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Liliya Karachurina & Yulia Florinskaya & Anna Prokhorova, 2019. "Higher Wages Vs. Social and Legal Insecurity: Migrant Domestic Workers in Russia and Kazakhstan," Journal of International Migration and Integration, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 639-658, August.
    3. Güell, Maia & Mora, José V Rodríguez & Telmer, Chris, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility and the Informative Content of Surnames," CEPR Discussion Papers 6316, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Murat Anıl Mercan & Hande Barlin, 2016. "Intergenerational Income Elasticity in Turkey:A New Estimate," International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147-4478), Center for the Strategic Studies in Business and Finance, vol. 5(3), pages 30-37, April.
    5. Pablo Mitnik, 2018. "Intergenerational Income Elasticities, Instrumental Variable Estimation, and Bracketing Strategies," Working Papers 2018-044, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    6. Shariq Mohammed, A.R., 2019. "Does a good father now have to be rich? Intergenerational income mobility in rural India," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 99-114.
    7. Ueda Atsuko, 2009. "Intergenerational Mobility of Earnings and Income in Japan," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-27, December.
    8. Yu-Wei Luke Chu & Ming-Jen Lin, 2020. "Intergenerational earnings mobility in Taiwan: 1990–2010," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(1), pages 11-45, July.
    9. Ng, Irene Y.H. & Shen, Xiaoyi & Ho, Kong Weng, 2009. "Intergenerational earnings mobility in Singapore and the United States," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 110-119, March.
    10. Dang, Thang, 2015. "Intergenerational mobility of earnings and income among sons and daughters in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 75357, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Chu, Luke Yu-Wei & Lin, Ming-Jen, 2016. "Economic development and intergenerational earnings mobility: Evidence from Taiwan," Working Paper Series 5272, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    12. Fengye Sun & Atsuko Ueda, 2015. "Intergenerational earnings mobility in Taiwan," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(1), pages 187-197.
    13. Bonacini, Luca & Gallo, Giovanni & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2021. "Sometimes you cannot make it on your own. How household background influences chances of success in Italy," GLO Discussion Paper Series 832, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    14. Chenhong Peng & Paul Siu Fai Yip & Yik Wa Law, 2019. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility and Returns to Education in Hong Kong: A Developed Society with High Economic Inequality," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 133-156, May.

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